We are profoundly saddened by the passing of George Bizos. South Africa has lost a legal icon, an exceptional human being who championed human rights and the anti-apartheid struggle. Madiba had the utmost faith in George as the leading member of his defense, saving them from the death penalty.
I first met George with Madiba in the early 1990’s, and over the years we developed a strong friendship which I will always cherish.
George was always available during the making of MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM whenever we needed advice and to confirm facts. We consulted him to ensure that the dramatization of the Rivonia Trial was authentic.
George was also supportive of other films I made, and we consulted him on the TRC film, RED DUST as well as SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS which dealt with the death penalty.
I was privileged to have spent quality time with him at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. For him, it was a special Olympic Games as Greece was the country in which he was born.
Today, as we mourn George’s passing, we acknowledge his role in shaping the democracy we all enjoy today. He is without doubt, a hero of the struggle. South Africa has lost another exceptional son.
May his soul rest in peace.
My family and I send our sincere and heartfelt condolences to his sons Alexi, Kimon and Damon, the extended Bizos family and his family at the Legal Resources Centre at WITS University.
9 September 2020